Written by Matthew Harper. DM by Bobby Williams. Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation announcement on Monday surprised the world and many have been left wondering what comes next for the Vatican. Becoming the first Pope to step down from the position since Gregory XII in 1415, Benedict XVI released a statement in which he cited his age as the major reason for stepping away from the position. When Gregory XII stepped down 600 years ago, the reasoning revolved around a major schism in the Church. Benedict’s resignation is of a more personal nature, in line with the resignation of Pope Celestine V in 1294. That resignation came after only five months due to Celestine’s preference of the simple monk life over the duties of leadership as Pope. Although Benedict’s resignation comes as a shock, it isn’t necessarily unprecedented in the history of the Roman Catholic Church.